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Song Without End

Song Without End

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Song Without End, The romantic story of Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt (Sir Dirk Bogarde), whose scandalous love affair forced him to abandon his adoring audiences. His Scandalous Affairs Shocked the World!

The true story of Franz Liszt and his women, some of them

Song Without End. This is a very beautiful film made with great meticulousness and with a serious intention to for once stick to the truth in a biopic, and the actors are all superb, especially Martita Hunt as the Grand Duchess, the most convincing one. Dirk Bogarde is excellent as Liszt but not at all as he was, more like an English gentleman than the emotionally wayward and unstable victim of his own vanity with much confusion that he was. Capucine is spellbindingly beautiful as Carolyne carrying herself with great style, and Geneviève Page makes a very convincing Marie d’Agoult. But what about the others? George Sand makes a very brief appearance, Lola Montez is not allowed at all, and there were others. Instead of telling the truth the film devotes itself to the Liszt myths and embellishes them thoroughly, so that Franz Liszt would have liked it. Of course, this at least is preferred to the terrible character assassination “Lisztomania” by Ken Russell 1975 dragging it all down to vulgarity. At least, Liszt was never vulgar. On the contrary, he was very careful about excluding himself only to the highest circles of nobility, which the film conveys adequately. Still, it’s not a great film, seconded by both the great Chopin films, like Liszt never came close to the genius of Chopin. The relationship with the Princess Carolyne is greatly romanticized, and Franz Liszt confessed himself that Marie d’Agoult was his only true love. Like Liszt himself, the film is gradually bogged down into his sanctimonious catholic penchant for superstition, he neglects his own life, music and love to follow the church and thus made a fool of himself instead of fulfilling his glorious career. Well, well. The film remains a most beautiful musical illustration to his life and enjoyable as such, while it leaves you deploring his bathos. The last third of his life (he became 75) was wasted getting mummified in the church with very few more compositions.

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